Study offers look at who is most likely to enroll in ACA coverage

Age, race, resources and subsidies all play key roles in marketplace enrollment
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Factors such as age, race, information resources and subsidy awareness play key roles in determining Affordable Care Act marketplace enrollment numbers, and understanding these enrollees' characteristics can help health plans reach the remaining uninsured, according to study published by Health Affairs.

For the study, authors Fredric Blavin, Michael Karpman and Stephen Zuckerman examined demographic and socioeconomic trends in the 2015 Health Reform Monitoring Survey.

Using that data, they highlight four key factors that characterized marketplace enrollees:

  • They tend to be older than uninsured adults and those who have private or public coverage
  • They have higher family incomes than adults who were uninsured or had public insurance, but lower incomes than other privately insured adults
  • They are 60 percent more likely to be white and non-Hispanic than uninsured adults and those with public insurance
  • They are more likely than either uninsured or publicly insured adults to report being in excellent or good health 

Additionally, the report reveals that marketplace enrollees get their information about insurance plans from multiple sources. Compared to those who are uninsured, marketplace enrollees are more likely to seek other information--through call centers, navigators, application assisters, certified application counselors and community health workers--in conjunction with a website, and uninsured people were more likely to use only a website to search for a plan.

The study adds that the data suggest many people who could benefit from subsidized marketplace coverage are unaware of its existence.

Many of the remaining uninsured qualify for either Medicaid or another cost-reducing subsidy through the ACA, FierceHealthPayer has reported. And a newly released Massachusetts study notes that affordability, eligibility for subsidies and challenges with the application process prevent uninsured residents from obtaining coverage.

"The extent to which the ACA will lead to further marketplace enrollment depends on how successful targeted outreach efforts are at reaching people who remain uninsured," the Health Affairs study concludes.

To learn more:
- here is the study

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